Many vegans quit eating meat, eggs, milk, honey, and yeast for one very specific reason: they have a deep reverence for all living things and subsequently want to prevent all living things from suffering on their behalf. This reverence for all living things drives some vegans to what nonvegetarians might consider extremes. Some live greatly restricted lives, but for a noble cause: to prevent suffering and death wherever possible. In addition to preventing death and suffering through dietary selections, some vegans have vow to prevent it in all other capacities. For instance, some vegans do not wear wool because they believe it contributes to animal suffering. These vegans often cite how scientists have bred sheep over the years to generate unnatural amounts of wool for human needs. This breeding has resulted in the Merino sheep of today, which often has enough wool to equal its body weight. As a result of this counter-evolutionary trait, the Merino sheep that exists today often has far more wool than it needs, which is evidenced by the high amount of sheep that die of heat exhaustion. In addition to overheating in hot temperatures, many sheep end up freezing to death after they are sheared. The wool shearing process can also cause quite a bit of suffering for the sheep. Almost a quarter of all wool sheared from sheep is “skin wool,” which is so close to the sheep’s skin that it is actually must be torn off. If you currently are a vegetarian for ethical reasons, take some time to consider whether or not wearing wool compromises your commitment to end or at least stop contributing to animal suffering. For some vegetarians, wearing wool is just as bad as eating meat; and for others, it simply isn’t an issue because they do not believe it causes an unreasonable amount of suffering. Which are you?
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